DC Diversions is a new feature here at OTBP that will take a look at some of the more obscure characters and hidden gems among the DC universe. Today's diversion is Ekko, a story that was featured in three issues (#4, 5 and 6) of New Talent Showcase in 1984.
New Talent Showcase was an idea DC came up with to give an opportunity to aspiring writers and artists who wanted to make it big in the comics industry. Written by Rich Margopoulos and drawn by Steve Lightle, Ekko tells the story of one Dr. Simon Hawks, who is somehow hiding a secret project, an Echoic Kinetic Kilocycle Oscillator (aka EKKO) suit...in his lab at the hospital. When his brother arrives to the hospital badly injured, Hawks dons the suit in an effort to protect his brother, where over the three issues we learn he is involved in a plot devised by a villain called the Crimeking.
Things don't start off too well for Dr. Hawks in the Ekko suit. It's going to take a bit of luck and a dash of skill to survive the next chapter as Ekko battles more of the Crimekings' hit men, and a few murder-balls...
The final chapter closes in as Dr. Hawks steps away from his love life situation and again dons the Ekko suit in an effort to stop the Crimeking and his cronies once and for all.
The Ekko origin might end up as overambitious and hokey to some, but to the writer's credit it is not easy to weave together an origin story in three short chapters without a little campiness here and there.
What really stands out here are Lightle's layouts and artwork. He did an incredible job in his debut for DC, and his artwork really gave life to Margopoulos' story. It's safe to say that Lightle's effort literally paid off, as DC hired him on to pencil for The Legion of Super-Heroes, where he penciled various issues and covers for that series up until 1988.